Barbie Table Memories

It happened on Mother’s Day when Oldest One was about 5 and Little One was about 2.  The Barbie Table had been problematic for several days.  The Barbie Table came about as a way to keep all the wonderful rooms Barbie lives in (and that Mattel realized was a much better way to go then a simple townhouse that took up a corner) along with furniture and clothes in one place and somewhat organized.  It was still messy, but a contained messy.

Oldest One was in a non-sharing mood, and kept getting mad at Little One for wanting to play at the Barbie Table with her.  So, about a half hour before Mother’s Day dinner with my Mom and Dad, Oldest One lost it and yelled at her sister again, at which point Husband was done.  He went into the playroom with two large garbage bags, swept everything on the Barbie Table into the bags, and told Oldest One she had lost the Barbie stuff until she could share.  That caused a meltdown, and Oldest One went into her room to cry, with my Mom following her.

I had no problem with what Husband did, we had taken toys away for not sharing before, it was just the timing.  Right before dinner on Mother’s Day wasn’t the best timing, but really, with kids, is the timing ever good?  Oldest One calmed down, we had a nice dinner, and a few days later the Barbie Table was back.  My Mom had a completely different take on this.

My Mom called me the next day and gave me a lecture about my supporting Husband over the girls.  She informed me that I should never choose Husband over the girls, and the girls were always going to be in the right.  She proudly told me she never sided with my Dad when it came to my brothers and I, and that she always supported our views instead.  That explained a lot about my parents relationship.  She wasn’t happy when I told her that Husband and I always tried to back the other when it came to the girls, and that we felt working together was the best way, and we weren’t going to side against each other.  Harder to do sometimes as the girls have gotten older, but we still strive for that.

Fast forward to today, when my Mom’s Boyfriend (we’ll call him MB) didn’t like me, or Husband, or the girls, and my Mom never tried to defend me.  Apparently I remind him of his deceased daughter who he didn’t get along with.  Pretty hard to overcome that.  And the things my Mom began to tell me about myself, my life and my family weren’t nice.  What she told my brothers about me was awful.  Never once did I hear her say anything good about me, just the bad.  What happened to siding with the child?  Not that I agreed with that, but it would be nice to think that a guy who has known me less than a year would at least get chastised a little bit for being mean, rude, and just not a good person.

My Mom wants to act like none of this happened, but it did, and it really upset and hurt me.  I know she won’t be here forever, and I know at some point this needs to be resolved.  Oldest One is inviting her to the graduation.  Little One isn’t, but after how my Mom treated Little One’s Bat Mitzvah, and then forgot Little One’s birthday, well, it’s understandable.  But when I think of having a conversation with my Mom about all of this I just get so angry at how she treated me, and how it’s okay for MB to think and say bad things without anything being said to him about how he acts.  I also feel childish thinking and feeling this, but at the same time I just can’t get over it.

This is on my mind at some point every day.  I try not to let it be because I do get so upset, but my Mom and I used to talk every day, and she used to do a lot with us, and was a big part of our lives.  We haven’t seen her since September, we don’t talk anymore, and she has missed everything the girls are doing for over a year.  At my Dad’s funeral an old friend of my parents, whose wife had died many years before, was there with his daughter, who is my age.  My Mom later told me that he had remarried, but was divorced, and during his marriage his 2nd wife hadn’t wanted anything to do with his daughters, so he hadn’t seen them during the marriage, two or three years, and was just building a new realtionship with them and his grandchildren.  She thought that was awful of him, and that he should have stood up to his wife and not abandoned his girls.  Yeah, I think that too.

Advertisements

I Didn’t Want to Call Mom

Yesterday was my Mom’s 83rd birthday.  This is the first year in a very long time that I haven’t celebrated with her.  I did call her.  I called her not because I wanted to, but because I felt I had to.  For me this is an important distinction.  It wasn’t a long conversation, because I wasn’t up for it, and all it did was put me in a bad mood.

I thought about writing everything that happened to cause this situation, but that would be too long, and also upset me.  Basically, the way I see it (and I’m sure she sees it in a different way), moving in with her Boyfriend changed it all.  I encouraged her to move in with her Boyfriend, and thought it would be a good thing.  There is no way I could have known I remind Boyfriend of his deceased daughter who he had a bad relationship with, so he doesn’t like me, Husband or the girls.  My Mom told me as way of explanation for why we felt he didn’t want to be around us.  Nice.

So, it went from seeing my Mom every weekend, and having her do all sorts of things with us to only seeing her when she could convince Boyfriend to spend a few hours with us.  Then she started to berate me for perceived insults against Boyfriend, and was always mad at me, and made me feel that nothing I did or my family did was good enough, or right, or acceptable.

My Mom also called my brothers and told them a lot of nasty things about me trying to break up her relationship, and being mean…I’ll leave it at that, though she said much worse.  My brothers have been fairly cold to me, and one of them started to ream me out, except I pretty much hung up on him to stop it.  Plus I was crying.  I was worried about some things my Mom had mentioned about Boyfriend, such as it was a mistake to move in with him, and that he knew all her financial information and told her what she could spend money on.  My brothers blamed me for the problems, and said my Mom was happy and Boyfriend was great.  My brothers also live out of state and give my Mom a lot of phone advice, but never actually fly out to visit or help her.  That was left to me, so I have no idea what has been going on since I stopped talking to her in September.

When I called yesterday my Mom acted like nothing was wrong, and just wanted to get together because she misses me and the girls.  Mind you she hasn’t called, hasn’t apologized for saying some really nasty things, hasn’t apologized for ignoring the girls (she completely missed Little One’s birthday, which really made her sad), nothing.  Husband pointed out that is how my Mom is, but I can’t pretend nothing is wrong.  I can’t pretend that she pretty much ignored me when I was not able to get out of bed for a month, and instead of helping would call and yell at me because I wasn’t nice enough to Boyfriend.  When I needed her for support to get through a hard time she only made everything worse.  I know she is elderly, I know I am supposed to be better than this, but right now, I just don’t want to be around her.  I know I don’t want to do this to my girls, and I hope they never feel I let them down in the way I feel my Mom has let me down.

Husband was wonderful last night in helping to cheer me up, and didn’t say a word when my dinner was chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream, and found Star Trek:  The Wrath of Khan for us to watch on TV (I am a huge Star Trek fan).  Then teenagers descended upon us (and the girls weren’t home from cheer practice yet) and that was the final piece that put me back into a good mood.  Something about the kids coming over, being comfortable at our house and eating everything in sight is just enjoyable.  It gets so loud I can’t hear anything, but the loud is laughter and happy talking, so I don’t need to really hear, I just smile at the chaos.  I’m not a perfect Mom, I don’t think there is such a thing, but I do my best, I love my girls, and I love the extra kids Husband and I have come to worry over and care about.  These are the people who make my life happy and extraordinary.